A Non-Human Spiritous Apparition (also known as a non-being[1]) is a type of magical spirit[2] created out of human emotions. They are notable for the fact that they have no real equivalent in the Muggle world,[1] and their similarity to ghosts, despite never having been truly alive.[2]


Non-Human Spiritous Apparitions are something of a mystery even to Wizardkind.[2] Being amortal, they are not born and cannot be killed,[1][3] only driven off. Non-beings are created from and sustained by human emotions, and new ones will always be created;[1] in short, they grow somewhat like fungi in places where there is decay. Despite the fact that Dementors cannot breed,[4] Cornelius Fudge referred their increase in number as "breeding".[5]

At least one type of non-being - the Poltergeist - is an "indestructible spirit".[6]


It seems that many non-beings are more difficult to perceive for Muggles than Wizards; Dementors are invisible to Muggles,[7][8] Boggarts are more difficult for them to see and more easily dismissed as figments of imagination,[1] and Poltergeists that form in Muggle homes are usually invisible and incapable of materialising.[9]

All known non-beings have also shown the capability of flying without any form of physical aid.[10]


While not truly alive and unable to be truly destroyed, wizards have invented various spells that can drive off these spirits using positive emotions. Their numbers can also be limited by reducing the conditions that generate them.[3]

Non-beings possess sentience enough to have emotions, which wizards can use to negotiate with them to make them allies. Dementors were offered to be guards of Azkaban, in exchange for humans supplying them with prisoners to feed off of. Poltergeists can fear a certain authority figure of great power, as Peeves was afraid of the Bloody Baron and Albus Dumbledore, while he respects Fred and George Weasley enough to follow their order to annoy Dolores Umbridge.[7]

Known non-beings


Notes and references

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.

Build A Wizarding World Collection